Royal effort makes Redeemer women 7th best in X-country

The Redeemer Royals women’s cross country team is the seventh best in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association.

Photo: Champlain College Saint-Lambert (via Redeemer Athletics)

The Lady Royals finished in that spot after the weekend’s CCAA national championships in Longueil, Quebec, where they gained some valuable experience.

On the men’s side, Taylor Kraayenbrink finished an impressive 21st.

Redeemer’s women’s team entered the race as the third best team in Ontario. Their seventh place finish came from a field of 136 runners representing 23 teams. For a young team competing at a national championships for the first time, the team was thrilled with their results.

Coach Jeff Summerhays summed up the day by saying, “Overall, I thought that everyone ran phenomenal races. I was really pleased with the effort and the results. We were so happy to have the opportunity to compete on the national stage.”

Redeemer’s top female runner was Julie Koopmans (Chatham). She came home in 29th, finishing with a fantastic time of 20:30. Koopmans crossed finish line as the 10th Ontario Colleges Athletic Association runner and was only 20 seconds away from the 3rd place OCAA runner in the competitive field. Jillian Marquardt (Pembroke) finished with a time of 20:50, which was good enough for 42nd place. Marquardt was the 12th OCAA runner to finish. Next to finish for the Royals was Adrianna So (Toronto) who completed the race in a time of 21:40 for a 64th place finish. Annie Stollery (Waterloo) rounded out the Royals team scoring with an 81st finish in a time of 22:10.

Janae Vlaar-Philbrick (Vineland) and Gina Van Haren (Lacombe, AB) finished in 97th and 103rd respectively to complete the Redeemer Women’s Team. Vlaar-Philbrick ran the course in 22:49 while Van Haren clocked at 23:04.

As a team, the Royals finished with 179 points. Grant MacEwan (ACAC) won the title. The next closest OCAA team to the Royals was Cambrian College which finished 16th. The OCAA finished third as a conference. RSEQ from Quebec finished first overall.

Taylor Kraayenbrink (Port Lambton) was the lone representative for the Redeemer men’s team after qualifying by finishing 11th at the provincial championships. He finished in 21st place in a field of 130 runners. His time was 26:58 and he was the eighth OCAA runner to cross the line, improving on his provincial meet finish by three spots in his last race as a Royal.

Kraayenbrink will be graduating this year. He made huge strides over the course of his Redeemer career and will leave a big hole for the men’s team. Kraayenbrink was only three seconds behind the seventh place OCAA finisher in the race. Seventh place is significant because the top seven OCAA runners are named to Team Ontario for the national championships.

Fanshawe claimed the CCAA men’s team title and Andrew DeGroot from St. Clair College won the individual crown. The OCAA was second as a conference while RSEQ from Quebec finished first.

Notes: Koopmans was only nine seconds behind the second place finisher from the OCAA championships. She gained 14 seconds on the OCAA gold medalist and beat the fourth, fifth, and sixth place finishers from the OCAA Championships; Both Julie Koopmans and Jillian Marquardt had a better time than one of the recently named Female All-Canadians; Taylor Kraayenbrink beat the fifth and sixth place runners from the OCAA championships by gaining over a full minute on both individuals; he had a better time than three of the recently named Male All-Canadians.